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Climate and Environment

Yes, That Was A Small Quake In Sherman Oaks That You Felt Saturday Night

A star marks the epicenter of a small quake that rattled local residents. It appears on a map of Los Angeles to the west of Universal City.
The local of the 2,3 magnitude quake Saturday night in Sherman Oaks that struck about 5:30 p.m.
(Courtesy USGS)
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An earthquake with a magnitude of 2.3 struck Saturday evening near Woodman Ave. and Magnolia Blvd. in Sherman Oaks at about 5:30 p.m. No damage has been reported.

That's not very big, right? It was not a big quake, but lots of people living near the epicenter felt it.

Was there a warning? No early warning was issued by the U.S. Geological Survey. Those early warnings, which are sent to phones, are typically reserved for quakes 3 or higher on the Mercalli scale, which describes shaking intensity. In the event of a quake large enough to cause damage, the alerts can provide valuable seconds for people to prepare.

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Why it matters. First, it's a reminder that we do feel quakes that aren’t strong enough to warrant a warning. Second, any time the ground moves is a good time to remember that we all need to be prepared for an actual Big One that does significant damage to our region.

What's next. If you did feel something consider reporting it to the USGS Shake map, which provides data to scientists studying earthquakes. Also, use our helpful tools to make sure you have what you need the next time it's not just a small shake of the Earth.

What do you want to know about fires, earthquakes, climate change or any science-related topics?
Jacob Margolis helps Southern Californians understand the science shaping our imperfect paradise and gets us prepared for what’s next.